The new Student route which replaces the current Tier 4 route

The government have announced that the current Tier 4 route will be replaced with the new Student and Child Student categories, which will take effect from 9.00 am on 5 October 2020. This represents the first set of changes in preparation for the end of EU free movement following the end of the Brexit transition period.

We outline below the main changes to this route:

  • EEA nationals will be included within the student rules. However, in-country applications by EEA nationals under the new Student route will be invalid if submitted before 1 January 2021, and entry clearance applications by EEA nationals will only be granted with leave commencing from that date.
  • The new rules permit for increased switching within the Student route and increased switching between routes within the ‘Points Based System’.
  • The eight year limit on studying courses at postgraduate level has been removed.
  • Students will only be required to prove the required level of English language to the Home Office once.
  • Applicants who have met the maintenance requirement on their current route will not need to meet this again if they have been supporting themselves in the UK for more than a year.
  • There is now more flexibility around meeting the maintenance requirement eg, relying on a wider range of accounts.

Please get in touch with Talitha Degwa, Immigration and Global Mobility Associate Partner, for further advice on the new student route.